Sunday, May 29, 2011

Season awards

Season awards

Every season, players deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments. Let these awards recognize some of the outstanding accomplishments of last season, and are no way a slight to anyone who was not recognized. Unlike Tee ball, not everyone will get a trophy. Let’s celebrate the Runnin’ Rebels!

Points leader – Chace Stanback 
Chace StanbackChace led the Rebels in points made during the season, making 162/339 field goals, equaling 47% . His scoring led the UNLV to its first national ranking of the season, and helped the team dominate the 76 Anaheim Classic, winning MVP. When the team was without significant contributions from Tre’von Willis, Stanback was leading the way. His best game of the season came against Wisconsin scoring 25 points in 32 minutes, helping the Rebels to beat the highly respected Badgers 68-65. Chace also had nearly a high at 24 points in the 94-79 beating at TCU. That game was mostly garbage time, with an attendance of about 300, but it helped the Rebels regain some confidence going into a showdown with the top-rated SDSU Aztecs. Stanback averaged 13.0 PPG for the season.

- Honorable mention – Tre’von Willis
Tre'Von WillisWillis scored 382 points on 125 of 289 shooting, equaling 43%. He actually had a slightly higher average than Stanback with 13.2 PPG, but played less due to injuries / suspension. Willis’s highest production came against the New Mexico Lobos on February 23 where he scored 25 points and we won in overtime 77-74.

Rebounds leader – Chace Stanback
Chace StanbackWho would have guessed it? One would assume it would have been one of the ‘big 3’ who would have earned that title, but Stanback led the team in rebounds last season. Stanback collected 60 offensive rebounds and 135 defensive rebounds totaling 195 boards.  He averaged 5.9 a game. There are qualities that make someone more akin to rebounding, size, position, and hustle are a few. Chace is 6’8” so he can grab basketball over smaller guards and forwards. Chace seemed to be in the right place at the right time, either by luck or intuition.

- Honorable mention – Quintrell Thomas
Quintrell ThomasA member of the three-headed-monster, he racked up 64 offensive and 107 defense rebounds for a total of 171 boards. He did this playing considerably almost half the minutes that Stanback did, 507 vs 967, so his rebound production was on-par with what one would expect. Surely, had Q been given the minutes he would have led the category.

Steals leader – Tre’von Willis
Tre’von Willis led the team with 46, making him leader of the pickpockets. This number was actually an improvement over the previous season’s 41 steals. Steals are quite valuable because they take away the opposing teams opportunity to score, and usually lead to transition points.

Anthony Marshall-Honorable mentions – Anthony Marshall and Justin Hawkins
Justin HawkinsAnthony Marshall had 42 steals, and Justin Hawkins had 41. Both figure to be key pieces of UNLVs forward progress, and one or both will have to do even better in the absence of Willis. Also impressive about Hawkins, he had 41 playing over 200 less minutes than Willis or Marshall.

Three point shots leader – Oscar Bellfield
Oscar BellfieldOscar Bellfield made 66 of 174 attempts, equaling nearly 38%. In addition to being the three-point leader, he was running the team at point guard, which takes a lot of energy. While this past season as a team was not stellar from beyond the arc, 38% is still an impressive figure. Hopefully a more potent offense will free up shooters from three helping Oscar to shoot even more next season.

- Honorable mention – Chace Stanback
Chace Stanback made 47 of 130, equaling 36% from 3. Provided he is not suspended for too long his shooting will be critical with the absence of Willis.

Blocks leader – Carlos Lopez
Carlos LopezCarlos Lopez led the way last year with 25 blocks. A formidable blocking presence tends to shut down easy layups and dunks, making a team have to take more jump shots. Lopez was only a freshman last year – look for big things from him, he has the chance to be really special.

- Honorable mention – Quintrell Thomas
Quintrell Thomas was right behind Lopez with 24 blocks. This was an impressive feat seeing how he is only 6’8” as compared to Lopez at 6’11”. Both Thomas and Lopez enjoyed first year success at UNLV and look to capitalize further next year.

Newcomer of the year – Quintrell Thomas
Quintrell ThomasAlthough he transferred in from Kansas, it is a tough task to crack the starting lineup in your first year with a team that wins as many games with the Rebels. Quintrell did just that. He became a force to be reckoned with once he figured out how to deal with Coach Kruger’s constant substitutions and foul trouble. Because he came from Kansas, there was a lot of hype and expectations for Thomas – 
but he has lived up to it. Expect great things from him.

- Honorable mention – Carlos Lopez
As a redshirt freshmen he provided energy and important production that helped the Rebels succeed this past year.

Most improved player – Anthony Marshall
Anthony MarshallMarshall elevated his game between his freshman and sophomore years. His numbers jumped from 5.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game to 9.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. He filled in admirably when Willis was out, and his leaping ability was unmatched during the year, producing highlight dunks. The future looks very bright for this local player’s junior season.

Hustle guy / fan favorite – Carlos Lopez
Carlos LopezFrom his bouncy fro to his fauxhawk, Carlos has been a colorful addition to the roster and has won the support of the fans. When he enters the game, its instant energy. Besides putting more energy and effort when he is in, he’s shown some crafty footwork and fakes that make him exciting to watch. He also led the team in blocked shots, so that’s always fun. Look for Lopez to get even better and earn more minutes next season.

Mr. Quotes – Quintrell Thomas
Quintrell ThomasHardly did a week go by without Quintrell getting quoted in the newspaper saying something short but extremely accurate about what needed to happen next game, or what just happened. Somewhere during last season a Thomas quote became a staple of any good article. Frankly I want more, this guy has a lot to say, but he says it in a mature manner. Kudos to Quintrell for talking the talk and backing it up.

Iron man award – Oscar Bellfield
Oscar BellfieldHe played more than any other rebel last season, 1111 minutes. No other Rebel even cracked 1000. He averaged 33.7 minutes per game and never missed one. This figure is way up from the 28 MPG the season previous. Hopefully all those minutes didn’t wear him out. Please take an ice bath, we’ll need you healthy for your final campaign as a Rebel.

Celebrating UNLV history award – Dave Rice and Stacey Augmon
Dave RiceStacey Augmon
It is always good to see a team celebrate its history, and it’s also important in doing so not to trivialize the job by filling it with an alumni. UNLV met both criteria by selecting Coach Dave Rice and Assistant Coach Stacey Augmon, both members of the 1990 championship team. I would have to call Stacey Augmon’s move to the Rebels more of a personal sacrifice, so I think it’s worth celebrating. He had a great gig going for him with the Denver Nuggets, and obviously a good life in Denver. No doubt, Stacey made some sacrifices to come and be a Rebel again. Welcome back!

MVP – Chace Stanback
Chace StanbackWhen UNLV was headed in the right direction last season he was right out front. Stanback is the reason why the Rebels were initially ranked, and he dominated the Anaheim classic, winning MVP there as well. Clearly, you have to give the points and rebound leader the award, he has earned it. Hopefully Stanback is able to top his Junior year and lead the Rebels further into the NCAA tournament.

Also, congratulations to Shawn Marion and Joel Anthony to being key parts of their teams march to the NBA Finals. UNLV Athletics had this snazzy graphic posted, so I thought I would share:

UNLV Rebels

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